Oh, Boone.Lately, all I know how to do is miss.

Somehow, it hit me today that I’m graduating sooner rather than later. I’m probably leaving Boone in a couple of months, and even if not…I’m leaving The Appalachian. I’m leaving tons of people I love. I’m leaving school. I’m leaving a life I’ve completely fallen in love with, whether or not I’m leaving the mountains where I found that life.

So I’m missing things and people in advance. At any given moment, I miss every single friend I’m not with. I walk by the old BeansTalk building and miss pancake lattes and tattered couches, and I realize that in a year I’ll miss pumpkin muffins and obnoxiously loud open mics at Crossroads. All these lasts are coming up and eventually, things are going to end. There will be a last editing night and a last full staff meeting and a last ed board meeting and a last production. There will be a last undergraduate class. There will be a last library atrium all-nighter.

I feel like I’m trying to remain painfully conscious of all those approaching lasts. I’m so afraid they’ll sneak up on me.

I think what it comes down to is this – I have been really, exceptionally blessed over the past four years and it’s going to suck when it’s gone. That’s just the truth. There will probably be nights when my heart feels hollow because I can’t see and smell the mountains from my window, and days when I can’t stand being too far from my best friends to meet up for Chili’s 4 for 20, and times when I just want to be back in PSU 217 taking naps and eating McAlister’s and making meetings longer because I can’t shut up for two seconds.

But isn’t that what life’s about? Shouldn’t I be grateful to’ve had something this lovely – to’ve had a time in my life this lovely?

When it comes down to it, absolutely everything is a choice, and I have a choice right here and now. I have seven months left, and I can waste them mourning the passage of time or I can enjoy and celebrate every single second of it.

I want to choose the latter. I want to take joy in every single bright-orange leaf, every single blizzard, every single laugh and every single stroll down King Street I have left.

It’s not gone yet. And I refuse to stop enjoying it because it’ll be gone someday.